Moral Relativism and Contradictions in the Bible

I really do not want 100s of answers here. Just 1 right answer from someone - if you do not know, please do not attempt to answer this.

I'm against Moral Relativism. It is wrong. We cannot go and decide which values suit us based on our feelings, or what society deems as being acceptable. That's just wrong. We knew that the Nazis all found it socially acceptable to hate non arians. (as an example).

But how is it the Bible can tell me to not sleep with my sister, parents etc as this is incest, yet Adam and Eve's children slept together to give rise to the rest of humanity? 

Is that not also moral relativism? That it was OK for their culture or their time?? Since when does right or wrong depend on time?? Absolute right or wrong should not depend on time.

It should remain constant.

So in the beginning God allows man to have sex with his sister. Then condemns it as wrong later on. 

I have a real problem with this.


  • Well said @Zoxsasi, I too believe moral relativism is wrong and I said that a number of times either in this forum or in my written work elsewhere. Unlike you though, the explanation is simple, it was not that it was OK for Adam's offspring due to the culture and the time but because of the duty imposed on them.. They had a duty to do that but it was unacceptable still to Sheth's offspring etc. That is how I see it..
    Ⲟⲩϫⲁⲓ ϧⲉⲛ Ⲡϭⲥ
  • the command against marrying brothers and sisters came later, not in the time of adam and eve.
    if you think they lived for 100s of years, the various batches of siblings would be decades apart.
    they would have had so many children that the children did not know each other as well as they would have done if there were only 6 or 7 siblings.
    so you could travel with your animals 100s of miles and then come back 20 or 30 years later, and then find you had a really cute brother / sister that you did not grow up with.
    so marriage would be ok.

    it is a bit like my friend who lived in the uk for about 20 years, not visiting egypt that often, then suddenly realised his younger cousin was really cute.
    they did not grow up together (like he did with his older cousins from the other aunt, eating from the same plate and living in the same house), so they got married and have 2 normal kids.
    of course we are allowed (in the Bible, not really normal in european culture) to marry cousins, but not sisters.
    but as rule against sibling marriage came in later, it would have been ok for adam and eve's children.

  • I remember when I was in elementary school, I thought marriage was disgusting all around because we all are x-th cousins y-th removed, since we all share a common ancestor, and therefore all marriage is incest.

    Obviously, elementary me was /technically/ correct but very confused.

    Yes, we are all related by at least common ancestor (Adam and Eve) but at some point you stop being nth cousins with someone, because it removes the exclusivity of being ones cousin. Until this separation could be reached, there was no one else to marry and have kids with.

    God’s great wisdom and understanding allowed Him to know when the Earth was populated enough that families were plenty enough to say that you must marry someone outside your own. He did not give the rule before then, as God never puts a mountain in front of you He won’t help you scale. With that being said, it does not make sense to judge people based on rules that were made after them.
  • "Moral relativism is the view that moral judgments are true or false only relative to some particular standpoint (for instance, that of a culture or a historical period) and that no standpoint is uniquely privileged over all others." IEP

    Moral relativism has little to do with human and/or situational limitations. For example, it is morally, and biologically wrong to "marry" your sibling (not to mention icky). Unfortunately if your parents were Adam and Eve, you're stuck with the impossible choice of "marrying" your sibling and ending the human race. I'm thankful for which wrong they chose. It doesn't change the fact that it was wrong, but it was the best they could do.

    Another example is killing. Killing is morally and ethically wrong. Still, there (unfortunately) are plenty of examples of people in the military and/or acting in self defense where they had to kill someone to survive. The fact that it was self defense doesn't make killing any less wrong. It doesn't reduce the psychological scarring that these people are suffering with. It was a terrible situation and they did what they had to to survive.

    @Daniel_Kyrillos 's "x-th cousins y-th removed" thing was kind of funny, but it does raise a fair point. Sometimes a moral statement is just a little incomplete and needs more detail. We agree that you shouldn't marry your first cousin. While I agree that it is a sound opinion for biological reasons, biblically, that moral statement that you shouldn't marry your cousin is a little fuzzy. Leviticus gives a variety of marriage rules, none of which are that you can't marry a cousin. This is not to mention the fact that Jacob married two first cousins. On the other hand, especially in the New Testament, first cousins are frequently referred to as siblings, such as James the brother of Christ.

    I honestly don't know if the church regards it improper for a person to marry their second cousin or where exactly the line is drawn. Growing up in the US, I consider it a great blessing if a person even knows all of their first cousins let alone second cousins. In a culture like this, it is remarkably easy for a person to marry a second cousin by accident.

    My point here is that moral relativism has no practical relevance here since even the morality is a little hard to define. I think an educated opinion in this particular matter is that marrying a first or second cousin has biological risk to offspring and mitigating that risk is one of many reasons for extended families to know each other.
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